By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Maybe it is the fact that Thanksgiving was late in November this year but there is no doubt the holiday season seems to be upon us and time is getting away for shopping and many of the holiday rituals. But, my concern this time of year is one that is very different.

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My worry is that there are many people out there who have unrealistic expectations of the holidays. They see the Madison Avenue vision of the holidays and feel somewhat depressed or even greatly depressed because their lives aren’t measuring up. But the reality is that few lives can match up to dozens of family members arriving at a home with multiple fireplaces, cars in the driveway with bows on the top and diamond necklaces.

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The healthiest way to approach the holidays is to be thankful for those in your life and focusing on the things that don’t cost money.

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A simple message but one that we often forget and when forgotten – a source of unhealthy stress.